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Public transport before road pricing

Public transport before road pricing

17 March 2006

A high quality public transport system must be in place before any serious consideration is given to road pricing, says Auckland Regional Council Chairman Michael Lee.

Mr Lee's comments follow the release today of a Ministry of Transport study on alternatives for possible road pricing in Auckland.

Mr Lee emphasised the Auckland Regional Council is yet to take a formal position on road pricing, but like him most members are unenthusiastic about the idea.

"If people have to pay a charge for driving it is essential they have a viable public transport alternative.

"It is plain to anyone that Auckland has a congestion problem that has to be dealt with. The obvious answer is to get more people onto public transport.

"The Auckland Regional Council already has a funding shortfall for public transport of at least $700 million. To deliver the public transport system the public needs and deserves additional funding.

"Whether road pricing is introduced by the Government or not we need to be able to fund a far better public transport system, and we need to be able to fund it now."

Mr Lee urged the Government and funding agencies to focus on building Auckland's public transport.

ENDS

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